Dream or reality? For a long time, teenager Orla Roche couldn’t tell them apart, and now The Hunt is coming with its nightmare world of the restless dead. An intense story of survival, The Hunt is a supernatural horror tale that will give Irish mythology a distinctly modern twist.
The Hunt is a new Image Comics series from writer Colin Lorimer with art by Lorimer and Joana Lafuente. Colin talked to us a bit and was kind enough to answer our questions regarding his new series.
GP: For those who might not know about the series, how would you describe it?
Colin Lorimer: It’s a folkloric, supernatural horror tale set in modern Ireland.
GP: Where’d the concept of The Hunt come from?
CL: I’ve always been fascinated by the European myth of “The Wild Hunt” and the many different variations that every country has on it. The Irish/Scottish one that tells of soul-stealing creatures known as “The Sluagh” was such a horrific concept that I couldn’t resist developing a story around them, and in all honesty, once they were in place the story almost wrote itself.
GP: How long have you been working on the series?
CL: The Hunt is one of my oldest projects and has gone through quite a few different iterations. I’ve been researching and working on it for quite some time. It was just that with being so busy with other projects I could never find the time to complete it–so after I finished my last project I cleared my schedule and made it my mission to get this story out there. I approached Jim Valentino over at Shadowline and he was very receptive to it picking it up almost right away.
GP: As both the writer and artist, how does your creative process differ than if you just did one or the other?
CL: I guess the obvious thing would be that as a writer and artist there’s certainly a lot more work involved. I go through the exact same process on art duties when writing my own stuff, but have the luxury if I’m having a problem with scripting a certain scene in regards to staging to just go in and just start thumbnailing and figuring it out visually, it’s quite an organic process and allows me a lot more freedom.
GP: What got you interested in tackling Irish lore and setting the comic there?
CL: I grew up in Northern Ireland surrounded by tales of Irish folklore so it seemed only natural that I’d set it in there. I remember the first time we visited the Giants Causeway and how that left an indelible impression on my young mind; Giants battling and throwing rocks at each other that ended up forming the landmasses that I was now walking on. I mean, seriously?! When playing in the forest we would talk about staying away from the Fairy rings as we should not at any cost disturb the Fairies, and at night in bed if we heard strange noises that would probably just be the Banshee wailing. That’s quite the normal childhood. Right?
GP: Were there any challenges in adapting that lore to modern times?
CL: No, not at all. Our society is built on various types of superstition, and religious beliefs, so it’s not too difficult to bring the idea of “fairytales” into a modern setting.
GP: Joana Lafuente is doing the colors and Jim Campbell is lettering the comic. How’d they come on the book?
CL: I met, Joana, through working on The X-Files with IDW and, Jim, from collaborating on the book Curse together which was published through BOOM! Studios. When I had decided to move forward on The Hunt I contacted Joana right away as I knew she would just elevate the work. She is a wonderful artist and I love her approach to coloring. Jim is a maestro of lettering and it’s just a great feeling to be able to sit back know that you don’t have to worry. Add to that their consummate professionalism and I’d be a fool not to have them along for the ride.
GP: How did the character of Orla Roche come about?
CL: Orla was based very loosely on someone I know. That person had suffered at the hands of others in many ways but had the strength of character and deep resolve to overcome whatever was thrown at her. The visions, and seeing of monsters part of the character would come from my experiences having dealt with night terrors and sleep paralysis.
GP: The comic is gothic horror and the first issue is quite tense at times. I find horror often succeeds or fails based on timing. How much work goes into that horror setting and getting vibe right?
CL: I couldn’t agree more. It’s finding a way to make the language of comics work in a way that fools the reader and plays with their concept of time. The most obvious would be the use of decompression: the slow build, leading the reader down that dark corridor to whatever lies at the end of it. The choice of camera angles and staging are important. Lighting also plays a huge part, as would Joana’s choice of palette. The page turn before a scene change or a reveal is also massively overlooked as a storytelling device.
GP: What other projects do you have coming up?
CL: I’m focused solely on The Hunt at present.